Mexico president asks Bad Bunny to give free concert after Ticketmaster debacle

<span>Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Aude Guerrucci/Reuters

Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has called on Bad Bunny to give a free concert in the capital’s central Zócalo plaza after hundreds of fans were locked out of the Puerto Rican rapper’s sold-out show last weekend thanks to a Ticketmaster debacle.

During his regular morning news conference, López Obrador, or Amlo as he is commonly known, said Bad Bunny was a “supportive” and “sensitive” person, adding that, although the government could not pay the artist, it would fund limited production costs for the concert.

“I ask Bad Bunny, I know he is overworked and tired because he works a lot, but I ask him to consider the possibility of coming to Mexico, to the Zócalo,” Amlo said. “Hopefully he comes.”

Mexico’s social media over the weekend was filled with teary, frustrated fans after hundreds of people were denied entry to the reggaeton superstar’s concert at the Azteca stadium on Friday when their tickets were rejected at the gate.

“It made us very emotional to see sad young people who couldn’t enter because their tickets were cloned, because they were cheated, some crying,” Amlo said. “They saved for a long time to be able to buy their tickets.”

On Saturday, Mexico’s consumer watchdog agency, Profeco, said that Ticketmaster would be obliged to refund the full cost of tickets purchased via official channels, as well as a 20% compensation fee.

The head of Profeco, Ricardo Sheffield, told local press that his office had received some 1,600 refund requests as of Saturday.

“Ticketmaster said they were fake, but they emitted all of them,” Sheffield said in an interview with local station Radio Fórmula, in reference to the tickets, adding that the company could be fined as much as 10% of its sales last year. “It’s a very elegant way of overselling.”

In a statement on Twitter, Ticketmaster Mexico denied Sheffield’s claims, noting that more than 4.5 million people had registered for just 120,000 tickets.

The denial of entry was caused by “an unprecedented quantity of fake tickets, bought outside of our official channels’’ as well as confusion among personnel and issues with the ticket reading system, the company said. “There was no overcrowding or overselling of tickets.”

Related: Ticketmaster cancels public sale for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour

The fiasco in Mexico follows another debacle with Ticketmaster in the US, where the ticketing giant was forced to cancel public sales for singer Taylor Swift’s Eras tour after “extraordinarily high demands”, sparking condemnation from lawmakers and a lawsuit from fans.

Bad Bunny, who closed his international tour in Mexico City, has yet to comment on his social media regarding the ticketing issues or the request from Amlo to hold a free concert.

“What a night!!! Thank you Mexico!!!” the singer, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, said on Twitter on Sunday. “Thank you America for the best experience of my life!!!! I love you with my whole life!!!!”